The key point the article makes, and quite correctly, is that the specialty coffee market (such as we have in places like Australia) is virtually absent in Italy. Coffee in Italy is extremely generic, made to a cut price for serving at the counter and there has been little to no innovation, development or experimentation over the years. There is just a tiny speciality market, and everyone seems afraid to take that step into the unknown.
The barista they mentioned in the article who *is* taking that step got the idea after visiting Melbourne.
New brewing techniques, new roasting styles and such are virtually absent in Italy, but are reasonably popular in other parts of Europe like Holland, and the Nordic countries. In other words, the article correctly observes that the Italian coffee scene is something of a time capsule. Absolutely correctly in my view.
My own observation from trips to Italy is that they use very generic beans for a pretty average espresso. Ultimately, if your chain smoking customers are paying 1 euro and slamming it down standing at the bar with two spoons of sugar, what incentive is there to change?